Publisher: Hewson Consultants
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #64


Bouncing ball games seem to be all the rage right now. Quite how they've crept up on us all I don't know - but not to be left out Hewson have come up with Impossaball to join the ranks of Trailblazer, Marble Madness and the like.

It's from a programmer new to the growing Hewson stable, John Phillips. It's original, it's fast, and it's a whole lot of fun.

The basic idea - like all good ideas - is pretty simple. You control a bouncing ball in a chequered corridor.


You have to knock out cylinders projecting from the floor and the roof of the corridor within a given time limit.

The cylingers are protected by nasty spiky things which are deadly to your ball plus other equally deadly moving thingies which hinder your ball on its mission to boldly bounce where no ball has bounced before.

You can flatten a cylinder - which often come in groups hidden behind each other - by jumping your ball on it.


These nasties come in several shapes and forms. Some static some moving.

Spikes: These are stationary and consist of a spike on top of a column. The column is safe to touch, but touching the spikes causes instant death.

Plasma Fields: These can be either stationary or moving and will destroy the ball if touched.


Fire Bolts: These appear first on the second corridor and will leap into the air at predictable intervals and again are deadly.

Magic Rings: These appear either on the floor or ceiling. When they are flashing they will give you some extra time if touched. However, they will then stop flashing and become deadly.

At the beginning of each corridor is a start line. The game will not start until you cross this line so you have an opportunity to practise controlling the ball.


Once a level has been finished you then progress to the next level. If the ball is destroyed by contact with a deadly object then you will return to the start of the current level, but any cylinders which were flattened will remain flattened. The game will end if you don't complete a level within the time allowed.

The corridor is depicted as a side-on view in true-perspective 3D. The ball can be moved left or right and in or out of the screen and as it has built in inertia, it will slow down before stopping or changing direction.

If the ball hits a stationary object it will bounce back. However, the front and back walls of the corridor will absorb the force of the ball.


You start the game with four lives, an extra life is awarded for every 5,000 points scored.

All that and the little bouncing chap is followed around by a neat shadow that changes perspective as you move.

John has even built in a special keyboard option for left-handed players - how thoughtful. Now Paul will actually be able to beat me at something...

Impossaball is totally addictive and very playable. A great debut game from Mr. Phillips.